Paris and Rome: An Artistic Alliance

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Bringing to light rare pieces from an Italian collection, the Paris-Rome: Une Alliance Artistique sale in Paris on 15 September illustrates the deep artistic bonds between France and Italy. Works from Italian artists such as Pompeo Batoni will be offered next to French works deeply influenced by Italy. A very rare work of Natoire, commissioned directly for the King Louis XV for his castle in Fontainebleau, is a fine example of the Italian influence on some of our most renowned artists. Discover some highlights of the collection in their home.

Paris-Rome : une Alliance Artistique
15 September 2017 | Paris

Paris and Rome: An Artistic Alliance

  • A Carved Giltwood and Painted Commode of Sarcophagus Shape, with Faux-Marble Top, above Three Drawers, Rome, circa 1770.
    Estimate €30,000-50,000.
    This extremely unusual and elegant commode exemplifies the enduring influence of the antique taste in the European, and in this case, Roman decorative arts. Inspired by the sarcophagi of ancient Rome, this shape was already employed during the late Renaissance, especially on ornate cassoni. The shape was later adopted by French ornamenistes such as Jean Bérain the Elder (1640-1711) and interpreted by ébénistes such as André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732). The present commode is unique in combining this design, complete with lion’s masks, an emblem of strength and accompanied by lion paw feet with distinctively Neoclassical motifs, such as the guilloche border on the lower drawer and the military trophy embellishing the front.

  • Jan Frans Van Bloemen, Dit L’orizzonte (Anvers 1662 - 1749 Rome), Bergers dans un Paysage Romain. Oil on canvas.
    Estimate €50,000-80,000.
    Frans van Bloemen, despite being born in Antwerp, also illustrated the Paris-Rome connection which wonderfully unites the works in this collection. Nicknamed, by his friends from the Bentvueghels group (collective of Dutch and Flemish artists mostly active in Rome between 1620 and 1720), the Orizzonte because of his Arcadian landscapes with low horizons, he never left the Eternal City. Frans van Bloemen is the artist par excellence of the Roman countryside. In his landscapes, the Eternal City is never far and very often one distinguishes its outline. His landscapes are imbued with a Classicism inherited from Lorrain and Gaspard Dughet. His clientele, mostly from Roman nobility, liked to have their villas depicted. Among his prestigious patrons we can list the Queen of Spain, Elisabeth Farnese and the Pope.

  • Nicolas-Didier Boguet (Chantilly 1755 - 1839 Rome), Vue du Forum Romain avec le Temple de Saturne. Pen and black ink and brown wash heightened with white on black chalk.
    Estimate €25,000-35,000.
    This large drawing is infused with Grand Tour sentiment. Conceived to be a souvenir sold to travellers visiting Italy during the 18th and 19th centuries, it depicts one of the most symbolic sites of Latin Antiquity, the Roman Forum.

  • A Carved Neoclassical White Marble, Green Granite and Micro-Mosaic Chimney Piece, Rome, circa 1778-1780. The Chimneypiece Attributed to Lorenzo Cardelli, the Micromosaic Panels Attributed to Cesare Aguatti.
    Estimate €150,000-300,000.
    Of refined architectural form, sobriety in colour and linear decoration with micro-mosaic ovals representing ancient Rome, the central medallion depicting the Temple of Saturn and the Arch of Septimius Severus, flanked by green granite panels, while the jambs are headed by medallions depicting the temple of Minerva Medica and the Lucan bridge, this chimneypiece is a tribute to the neoclassical taste and design of the late eighteenth century, when Rome became the production centre for fireplaces for European aristocracy.

  • Pompeo Batoni (Lucques 1708 - 1787 Rome), Portrait d’un Gentilhomme. Oil on canvas.
    Estimate €150,000-250,000.
    A contemporary of Pompeo Batoni, the great French connoisseur Pierre-Jean Mariette (1694-1774) said that the artist had “a seductive brush that he uses in the grand finishing, he pleases and cannot suffice the commissions that he receives. He is especially busy making portraits, for which he is paid quite well.” With this gracious description of Batoni’s personality, Mariette summed up the artist’s immense popularity. Hailing from a modest Tuscan town, Batoni became the most popular portraitist in Italy.



  • An Italian Gilt-Bronze Framed Mosaic Panel, Rome, by the Vatican Mosaic Workshop, circa 1835-1845. Probably depicting Greek goddesses Tyche and Athena, set within a gilt-bronze and metal frame with the coat of arms of Pope Gregory XVI.
    Estimate €40,000-70,000.
    Clearly inspired by classical Roman mosaic emblemata, this exquisite panel was commissioned from the Vatican Mosaic Studio by Pope Gregorius XVI (1765–1846), who reigned as Pope from 1831 until his death in 1846 and this was most likely a gift for a high dignitary, such as a foreign diplomat. It seems to depict Greek goddesses Tyche, who ruled the fortune and prosperity of a city, and Athena, deity of wisdom, courage and war in a non-canonical composition which includes an eagle carrying the victor’s wreath, which stands for Zeus, a sacrificial tripod standing for Apollo, and an enigmatic blank legionary standard. During classical times, an emblema was a figurative panel used as a focal point to larger floor mosaics, manufactured in terracotta or stone trays by specialized workshops to be later set in larger floor compositions.

  • Charles-Joseph Natoire (Nimes 1700 - 1777 Castel Gandolfo), Personnages se reposant aupres d’une fontaine. Charles-Joseph Natoire, La Pêche. Oil on canvas.
    Estimate €300,000-500,000.
    Filled with an elegance inherited from Watteau - Natoire here presents one of the motifs, that being the gallant figure supporting the cavalier. The characters in our compositions meander through a contemplative landscape, the result of a sensitive observation by an artist still mesmerized by the Italy which he had recently left. With this series of canvases directly painted for the King of France at Fontainebleau, Charles-Joseph Natoire (1700–1777) presents these masterpieces in his full maturity as an artist, as well as a true segment of the flourishing paintings of the 18th century.

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